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BMW Home > BMW Technical Articles  > BMW Z3 E36/E37 (1996-2002) Technical Articles
BMW Z3 DIY

BMW Z3 E36/E37/E38 (1996-2002) Technical Articles

Welcome to our BMW Z3 technical articles section.  We've gathered a vast collection of useful articles to help you repair many items on your BMW.  Save money by avoiding your mechanic and perform the repairs using the information we've provided here.  Can't find what you're looking for?  Try our Search Engine, or hop over to our Technical Bulletin Board, and ask your question to the thousands of members who post messages there every day.

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Jump to: Engine | Fuel Injection | Cooling System | Transmission | Brakes | Suspension | Electrical | Exhaust | Body/Interior

 Basics:
Jacking Your Vehicle
Most common tasks need the car to be jacked up in the air. But where should you place the jack, and what is the safest method of lifting it? It's all answered here
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Battery Connection Notes Replacement
New to working on your car? Not sure where the battery is or how it's connected? Check out this simple article explaining all that and more!
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Drive Belt Replacement
Worn drive belts. Here's some short instructions on this very basic of maintenance tasks.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Identifying Vehicle Options
This tech article describes the various options and models that were available with BMW Z3 models.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Changing Engine Oil
Whether you follow BMW's recommended interval or like to change your oil every 3,000 miles. Use this tech article to learn how to do the most common task to do on your Z3.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Engine Air Filter Replacement
New to working on your car? Not sure where the air filter is? Check out this simple article.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Service 1 and 2 Explained
Service schedules 1 and 2 offer a good guideline for maintaining your BMW Z3. They are both explained in this article.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
 Engine:
Alternator Replacement
Replacing the alternator on the Z3 can be a bit tedious due to the modular front end design. Here, I'll go over the steps involved with changing it.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Starter Replacement
Now that you've determined that the starter is bad, learn how to replace it without electrocuting yourself by reading this article here.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Power Steering Reservoir and Cooling Loop Replacement
Is your power steering reservoir looking ugly? Swap it out with a new one following the steps outlined in this guide.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Oil Filter Housing Gasket Replacement
Replace your oil filter housing gasket easily by following this technical article.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Crankcase Breather Valve Replacement
Breather valve starting to give you trouble? Rough Running or Consuming engine Oil? Replace it with this guide.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Engine Mount Replacement
Engine mounts will wear out over time. If yours are loose or leaking, then that's a clear sign that they need to replaced.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Engine Covers Removal
Need help removing the engine cover? Find the answers in here!
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Spark Plug Ignition Wire Coil Replacement
Spark plugs are an important part of your engine - make sure that they are replaced every 60,000 miles or so, to keep your ignition system running smoothly.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Head Gasket Replacement
Engine overheating due to a faulty head gasket? This tech article shows you how to replace the head gasket on BMW Z3 4-cylinder models.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Valve Cover Replacement
Do you have a valve cover leak? This tech article shows you how to replace the valve cover gasket on BMW Z3 4 and 6-cylinder models.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
 Fuel Injection:
Intake Manifold Replacement
Time to replace your intake manifold gasket? It's easier than you think &Don't believe us? Read on!
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Charcoal Canister Replacement
Evaporative emission fault codes? See how to replace the charcoal canister and vent solenoid in this tech article.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Throttle Housing Replacement
Need to remove your throttle housing? We makes it easy with his detailed guide.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Camshaft Sensor Testing
This tech article shows you how to test those pesky camshaft position sensor fault codes. Know if the sensor is faulty and replace it with confidence.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Fuel Filter Replacement
You should replace your fuel filter about every 10,000 miles or so. This technical article shows you how to perform this relatively easy maintenance task.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Intake Air Ducts Replacement
Broken or torn intake air ducts can cause fault codes and drivability issues. Use this tech article to learn how to replace yours.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Fuel Injectors Replacement
Here, We describe the steps involved in replacing or cleaning your fuel injectors.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Mass Air Flow Sensor Replacement
Changing the Z3 MAF sensor is literally a snap with our handy replacement guide.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Coolant Temperature Sensor Replacing and Testing
Problem with your coolant sensor? This tech article shows you to replace and test it.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Fuel Pump Replacement
Faulty fuel pump. See how to replace your fuel pump with these easy to follow instructions.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Fuel Pump Testing
Suspect your fuel pump is failing? This tech article shows you how to test it mechanically and electrically.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Engine Management System
Understanding The Engine Management System in you BMW Z3 can help with repairs and diagnosing issues. This tech article describes the various systems.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Secondary Air System Testing
Secondary air system fault codes? Use this tech article to help with testing the individual components on the secondary air system. No scan tool required.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Secondary Air Components Replacement
The secondary air system can fail causing fault codes. This tech article describes how to replace the parts and remedy your check engine light.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Fuel Injection DME Relay Testing
A faulty DME (Digital Motor Electronics) relay can cause poor engine performance and hard starting problems. Test it and replace it as necessary to restore your engine's performance.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Camshaft Sensor Replacement
A bad cam sensor can cause reduced engine power and a check engine light. Here's how to change it.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Crankshaft Sensor Replacement
Crankshaft sensor fault code or an engine that won't start. We'll show you how to replace your crank sensor in this tech article.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
 Water Cooling System:
Cooling System Leak Test
Do you have a coolant leak but aren't sure of the source? Use this tech article to track down the problem component.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Cooling Fan Replacement
Is your cooling fan making funny noises? Swap it out with this article.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Water Pump Replacement
Leaking or faulty water pump? This tech article shows you how to replace the water pump on 4 and 6-cylinder Z3 models.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Draining and Filling Cooling System
Check it out - More than you ever wanted to know about your cooling system, why you need to maintain it regularly, and how to change that pesky coolant.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Heater Control Valve Replacement
Is your heat not as hot as it should be? Your heater valve may be failing, Use this tech article see how to test and replace it.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Coolant Pipes Replacement
Plastic coolant pipes are located in various places on your BMW Z3. This tech article shows how to replace them.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Radiator Replacement
Here's how to change the radiator on your BMW Z3.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Thermostat Replacement
Leaking or faulty thermostat? This tech article shows you how to replace the thermostat on 4 and 6-cylinder Z3 models.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Coolant Expansion Tank Replacement
These coolant tanks are well known to crack and leak. Replacement is a snap and can be done in no time.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Heater Core Replacement
If your interior floor is damp and smells of engine coolant, you could have a leaking heater core. We show you how to replace it here.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
 Transmission & Axles:
Manual Transmission Fluid Replacement
Replace your manual transmission fluid with this easy to follow article.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Manual Transmission Output Shaft Seal Replacement
Leaking output shaft seal? Trans fluid leaking down the back of your manual transmission? This tech article shows you how to replace one of the common cause, a leaky output shaft.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Rear Differential Fluid Replacement
One of the easiest tasks to perform on your BMW Z3 is to change the differential oil, but just in case you need a bit of guidance, be sure to read this article first.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Manual Transmission Selector Shaft Seal Replacement
Leaking selector shaft seal? Trans fluid leaking down the back of your manual transmission? This tech article shows you how to replace one of the common cause, a leaky selector shaft.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Automatic Transmission Range Switch Replacement
We go over the steps involved with replacing the transmission range switch in this article. You'll improve your shifting by replacing the automatic transmission range switch.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Automatic Transmission Fluid Replacement
Servicing your automatic transmission fluid will extends its life. Follow the steps in this tech article to see how.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Driveshaft and Center Support Bearing Replacement
This tech article shows you how to replace your entire driveshaft or service the center support bearing.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Rear Drive Axle Replacement
Noisy drive axle? Use this easy to follow tech article to see how to replace it.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Driveshaft Flex Disc Replacement
Vibration in your drivetrain? This tech article shows you how to replace the most common culprit, the driveshaft flex-disc, also known as the Giubo.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
 Brakes:
Brake Pads Replacement
Brake pad sensor light on? It might be time to replace those pads. You're in luck, we have the steps laid out for you in this easy to follow tech article.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Brake Rotor Replacement
Learn how to replace your brake rotors with this article.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Brake Rotor Specification Checking
Wondering how and when to replace your disc brakes? This tech article lists the specifications, measurements and how to check them.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Brake Hose Replacement
Dry rotted or cracked brake hoses? This tech article shows you how to replace them in a few easy to follow steps.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Replacement
ABS warning light on? Check your fault codes first using a BMW scan tool. If you have a fault for a wheel speed sensor, use this tech article to learn how to replace quickly and easily.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Brake Caliper and Hose Replacing
Sticking brake caliper or uneven braking? Learn how to replace your brake caliper rand hose in this tech article
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Brake Master Cylinder Replacement
Soft brake pedal? Leaking master cylinder? This tech article will show you how to replace the heart of your braking system.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Brake Bleeding
If you removed a brake line or part, you will need to bleed your brakes. This tech article will show you how.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Parking Brake Adjusting
Tired of chasing your car down hill? Adjusting that parking brake using this article has never been easier!
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Parking Brake Shoes Replacement
Parking brake noisy or grinding coming from the rear brakes? Here we describe how to replace your parking brake shoes on an E90.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
 Suspension:
Power Steering Pump Replacement
Over time, power steering pumps tend to fail. In this article, we'll go over the steps involved with replacing the pump.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Rear Shock Replacement
Replacement of your rear shocks can remedy a poor ride or bouncy back end. See these instructions for complete details on the replacement process.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Front Control Arm Bushing Replacement
Vibration? Worn control arm bushing? This tech article shows you how to replace your front control bushing.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Front Control Arm Replacement
More than one faulty part in your control arm? This tech article shows you how to replace the entire assembly.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Stabilizer Bar Link Replacement
Noise or loose front end? This tech article shows you how to replace the stabilizer bar end licks and sway bar bushings
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Tie Rod End Replacement
Loose tie rod ends or steering? Follow the steps in the etch article to see how to replace them.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Front Control Arm Ball Joint Replacement
Faulty lower ball joint? This tech article shows you how to replace the ball joint without replacing the entire control arm.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Rear Coil Spring Replacement
Broken spring causing a sagging rear end? Replacement of your rear springs is one of the most common suspension procedures for your Z3. See these instructions for complete details on the replacement process.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
 Exhaust:
Oxygen Sensor Replacement
Old, worn out oxygen sensors can cause poor mileage, low power and a variety of fuel injection problems. Learn to replace them today with our article.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Exhaust System Replacement
Rusty or leaking exhaust system? Maybe you just want to remove it to service other components. Follow along with this tech article to see how to do it.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Exhaust Manifold Replacement
Removing the exhaust manifold on your Z3 may seem daunting, so read up on it first!
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
 Body:
Headlight Assembly Replacement
Moisture problems or corroded wiring in your headlights? Learn how to remove and replace the headlights on your BMW Z3 with these easy steps.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Center Console Replacement
Need to run wires for a stereo or iPod? This tech artice shows you how to remove and replace your center console.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Front Bumper Removal
In order to access the front end on the Z3, you need to remove the front bumper. Here's how you do it.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Front Exterior Light Bulbs Replacement
This tech article shows you how to replace the exterior light bulbs on your BMW Z3
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Trunk Release Button and Solenoid Replacement
If you trunk lock is giving you trouble. This tech article will show you how to replace the button and the lock solednoid.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Passenger Seat Occupancy Mat Sensor Replacement
If you have an airbag fault for the passenger seat occupancy mat, this tech article will show you how to replace with easy to follow instructions.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Radiator Grill Replacement
Worn or loose radiator hood grills? This tech article shows you how to replace them.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Rear Bumper Replacement
Need to remove your rear bumper cover? This tech article has easy to follow steps on how to do just that.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Tail Light Replacement
Need to replace burned out tail light bulbs on your Z3? Or replace a broken tail light lens? Use this easy to follow tech article.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Hood and Trunk Support Strut Replacement
Hood or Trunk won't stay open? This tech article shows you how to replace the hydraulic struts that keep them up.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Third Brake Light Replacement
Burned out Third brake light bulbs? Or maybe you third brake light lens is faded or cracked. This easy to follow tech article shows you how to deal with both scenarios.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Exterior Mirror Replacement
Broken or faded mirror glass? Or maybe your mirror is broken from an impact. This tech article shows you hw to replace both.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Steering Wheel Replacement
Need to remove your steering wheel or maybe you need to replace the steering wheel clockspring. This tech article shows you how to do both.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Front Seat Removing and Buckle Replacement
Airbag light on for a seat belt buckle fault? This tech article shows you how to replace the seat belt buckle with easy to follow steps.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
A-Pillar Trim Replacement
Worn out interior A-pillar trim panel. This tech article shows you how to replace it in a few easy steps.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Door Panel Replacement
Need to remove your interior door panel? This tech article shows you how with a few easy steps.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Door Sill Molding Replacement
Door sill falling apart or worn, use this tech article to learn how to replace your door sill trim.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Glovebox Replacement
Sagging or detached glovebox? This tech article shows you how to remove it and repair the dashboard when the speed nuts break.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Front and Side Emblem Replacement
Damaged or chipped hood emblem? Missing side emblem? This tech article shows how to replace the exterior emblems on your BMW Z3
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Seat Belt Guide Replacement
The seat belt guide on BMW Z3 models can break. This tech article explains how to replace with easy to follow steps.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Seat Rail Bushing Replacement
Does your Z3 seat rock back and forth when you accelerate or when you brake? This tech article explains how to install new bushings to remedy this problem.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Door Latch Replacement
Sticking or faulty door latch. This tech article shows you how to replace it with easy to follow steps.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Hood Release Cable and Latch Replacement
Hood wont open? Use this tech article to see how to replace the hood release cables and latches on your BMW Z3.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
 Electrical:
Blower Motor and Blower Motor Resistor Replacement
HVAC blower motor malfunctioning? Use this easy to follow tech article to see how to replace it.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
IHKA Panel Replacement
Problem with your blend or blower controls on your Z3? This tech article shows you how to replace the control panel for vehicles with manual climate control.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Radio Replacement
If your radio has failed, use this tech article to see how to install a factory or aftermarket replacement.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Wiper Component Replacement
Windsheild wipers not operating as they should? This tech article shows you how to replace the wiper motor and transmission.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Headlight Switch Replacement
Is your headlight switch malfunctioning? This tech article will help you replace it in a few easy steps. It also includes a few notes on how to test it.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Washer Pump Testing and Replacement
Washer pump not working leaving you with a dirty windshield? Follow the steps in this tech article to see how to test and replace it.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Brake Light Switch Replacement
Brake lights not working? This easy to follow tech article illustrates how to replace you brake light switch.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Ignition Switch Replacement
This tech article shows how to replace the mechanical lock cylinder as well as the electrical ignition switch on BMW Z3 models.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Steering Column Switches Replacement
Problems with your wiper or turn signal switch? This tech article shows how to replace all three of the switches located on BMW Z3 steering columns.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
Reading Fault Codes
This tech article shows how to use a scan tool to read and clear fault codes on BMW Z3 models.
     Applies to: BMW Z3 (1996-02)
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